Expert reveals her Halloween cleaning secrets for a post-spooky season tidy up

Get rid of nightmare stains with her hints and tips

Halloween is finally here, and we can't wait to celebrate. We've been having a lot of fun coming up with new Halloween decorating ideas in preparation for inviting guests over.

Some time along the way, though, there are bound to be some pretty scary spillages and stains. Whether you're currently haunted by melted chocolate stains on the sofa or face paint on the carpet, a cleaning professional has the answer to your Halloween cleaning dilemmas.

Kids at Halloween

(Image credit: HomeHow)

Chocolate stains

Home care and cleaning expert Joyce French from HomeHow has an easy fix for stains caused by melted chocolate and sticky fingers. First of all, scrape off as much of the chocolate as possible with a knife or spoon.

This will prevent the chocolate stain from getting any bigger. Then, Joyce says to blot the stain with a solution of two tablespoons of washing-up liquid and some hot - not boiling - water.

Repeat this step a few times, and then use a light sprinkle of cornmeal to absorb any remaining moisture.

Chocolate halloween skull full of sweets

(Image credit: Funky Hampers)

Face paint

'If you are using water-based face paint, you are in luck,' says Joyce. 'Warm water and a face cloth will do the trick in easily removing the paint from your face or any surfaces.'

Try using some micellar water on a cotton pad if you're left with any residue. As for upholstery, such as your sofa or curtains, try blotting the stain with a solvent - like washing up liquid or rubbing alcohol.

Joyce also recommends trying hairspray because of its alcohol content. 'Never use ammonia on silk or wool, and always check the fabric type before using a solvent on it!' she says.

Halloween table with pumpkins, candles and neon trick or treat wall light

(Image credit: Lights4fun)


Knowing how to remove glitter is an elite life skill, as it can be very stubborn. Pieces of glitter will keep turning up weeks or even months later.

Use your best cordless vacuum cleaner to suck up all the sparkles, and then use a spray mop, like our favorite Vileda mop on Amazon. Once you've done that, it's time to try Joyce's final Halloween cleaning hack.

'Go over the surface with a lint roller,' she says, 'which should do the trick for those pieces that you can’t pick up with your hands.' Good luck!

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.